Fall Literature, Arts & Lecture Series Recap

The Oxnard College Literature, Arts & Lecture Series brings an incredible line-up of artists, thinkers and performers to campus each semester.

The Oxnard College Literature, Arts & Lecture Series brings an incredible line-up of artists, thinkers and performers to campus each semester. These are events very much worth attending.

A recap on fall:

Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco, the fifth inaugural presidential poet laureate in US history – the youngest, first Latino, immigrant and gay person to serve in that role – gave a poignant reading to a lucky few on November 9, just two days after the presidential election. Much of Blanco’s writing reflects on questions of identity; the sense of being torn between cultures, views and ways of life. These themes, viscerally woven and beautifully delivered, felt particularly moving on a wistful Wednesday afternoon.

Blanco read pieces from his internationally lauded compilation, Becoming American, and other award-winning publications. This was a very special, timely event. Thank you to Shelley Savren for organizing such a special speaker.


Actor and educator Eliot Fintushel gave an impressive performance in November 30th’s Arts, Literature & Lecture Series event – Masks: Inside and Behind. Using mime performance, masks and improv, Eliot transformed himself, objects and the space around him into a fantastic variety of things and characters, demonstrating how the magic of imagination can change our perceptions.

Mr. Fintushel is a two-time winner of the National Endowment for the Arts Solo Performer Award and has performed throughout the United States.

Exceptional artistry – the Kai Narezo Flamenco Trio performed to a full house October 12. Their Old and New Worlds of Flamenco performance explores the roots of traditional flamenco infused with more modern jazz and rock melodies.

Kai Narezo is a flamenco guitarist. His albums include, Vueltas and Contra Tiempo. His co-authored textbook: A Compás: the Flamenco Guitar Survival Guide, is used at the Berklee College of Music, where he also studied as a recipient of a BEST scholarship.

Bassist Rufus Philpot is a musician and educator. He leads the UK originated acid jazz band, “Down to the Bone.” He has performed in more than 30 countries and has given master classes in the UK, Australia, Russia, Sweden and the US.

Joey Heredia is an exceptional drummer. He has performed with some of the best known musicians in the field both on tour and in studio. His fusion group, El Trio, with Marco Mendoz on bass/vocal and Renato Neto on keys is known throughout the world.

The performance included the traditional flamenco dancing of Wendy Castellanos-Wolf’s (partner of Oxnard College Professor Scott Wolf).

Rumi scholar Fariba Entesahair presented works from the Mathnawi, the thirteenth-century masterpiece from the Persian poet and Sufi mystic. Fariba presented Rumi’s pieces in both their original Farsi and in English. The event was a beautiful exploration of his inward journey to enlightenment.

Dr. Enteshari is an international educator, specializing in Rumi. She has devoted her life to the transformational teachings of Rumi through his poetry and epic masterpiece, Mathnawi, and its seven stages of enlightenment. Through her years of teaching Rumi to a wide variety of students, she has researched the beneficial and healing effects of Rumi’s poetry on the lives of her students. Born in Iran, she is fluent in Rumi’s native language and culture, allowing her to share the original melody and cadences of the language.

The Spring 2017 Arts, Literature & Lecture series begins Wednesday, February 22. In celebration of African American History Month, filmmaker and entertainer Byron Motley will kick-off the series with a historical overview and a presentation of clips from his documentary The Negro Baseball Leagues.

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